This week, Melbourne hit an accolade no one wanted: a doubled century of days spent in lockdown. Sydney, meanwhile, has officially hit week eight of stay-at-home orders, meaning more than half of the Australian population is in strict lockdowns as COVID-19 cases increase.

There’s no doubt boredom is kicking in.

To help feed your mind and help escape the current monotony of life, we’ve compiled some incredible must-listen podcasts that every Australian Global Citizen should tune into. While some of the selected podcast episodes last 20 minutes and others 90, all put a spotlight on Australia's role in the world, examining the Australian spirit of generosity, Australia’s response to international affairs and how the nation can fight inequality across the globe. 

Let these podcasts educate and inspire you to be a better, more charitable Australian.

1. How Aid Works

Aid workers from the Australian Red Cross lead this epic podcast by talking about how Australian aid is distributed worldwide and how aid workers deal with inevitable challenges and roadblocks. Have you ever wondered how toilets are provided in humanitarian catastrophes, how finances are handled when an entire country is in crisis or how to get relief supplies to inaccessible areas? If you answered yes, this is the podcast for you.

2. Dyason House Podcast

This original production, hosted by the Australian Institute of International Affairs, sees experts talk about international affairs and how everyday people can get into fields like foreign affairs reporting and delivering aid to some of the poorest nations in the world. Some of the most recent episodes explore how to empower women in international affairs, the significance of press freedom and addressing climate change. 

3. Australia in the World

Hosts Allan Gyngell and Darren Lim use their Australian in the World podcast to break down international affairs through a uniquely Australian policy lens. Episodes are available on Australia’s response to the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the relationship between China and Australia and the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia’s closest neighbour, Papua New Guinea. 

4. Devpolicy Talks

The Development Policy Centre is an aid and policy think tank based out of the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy. Here, you’ll hear breakdowns of aid budgets and learn about global development policy, Australia’s obligation to provide aid to the Pacific and the future of anti-poverty programs. 

5. The Grattan Podcast

This podcast by policy research organisation the Grattan Institute promises to tell you everything you need to know about Australian public policy in just 20 minutes. Covering topics like budget policy, economic growth, emissions and social housing — there is a little something for everyone.  

6. Lowy Institute Podcasts 

The Lowy Institute is an international policy think tank located in Sydney. Its podcasts break down high-quality research on foreign policy trends shaping Australia and the world and feature interviews with high-level guest speakers, including investigative reporters, security advisors, political editors and pro-democracy fighters in Hong Kong. 

6. BroadTalk

Presented by Australian activist and journalist Virginia Haussegger, the BroadTalk podcast puts a gendered lens on Australian politics and policy. Hear from exceptional Australian feminists about the fight for gender equality in Australia and how the country can help promote women’s rights around the world.  

7. Activist Connect

Activist Connect by Amnesty International explores the fight for justice, human rights, equality and peace across the globe. In an effort to educate and engage existing and future activists, the podcast tackles hard conversations around Australia’s role in the global human rights movement, understanding climate change mitigation and why an intersectional approach to climate justice is vital. 

8. Policy, Guns and Money

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute launched its weekly podcast, Policy, Guns and Money, in 2017. Over five years, it has deep-dived into Australia's foreign influence laws, countering violent extremism, the future of peacekeeping, the cost of defence and preventing radicalisation.

9. Pacific Wayfinder

In 2020, the Australian Pacific Security College released the Pacific Wayfinder podcast to inform listeners about Pacific security issues. The most recent episode breaks down what the latest IPCC report means for the region, while other episodes this year cover regional security post the pandemic and the aftermath of the 2021 Samoan election.

10. On Purpose

The On Purpose podcast by Bank Australia treats listeners to in-depth conversations from those working on the front lines of social change about the ways everyday people can create positive impacts. One episode sees Human Rights Watch director Elaine Pearson discuss the organisation's work in the lead-up to World Refugee Day, while another interviews Kalpona Akter, a former child labourer in Bangladesh's garment industry.

Global Citizen Life

Demand Equity

10 Must-Listen Podcasts If You Care About Australia’s Role in the World

By Madeleine Keck